Ministry and universities partner in herbal database

Indonesia’s Health Ministry last Monday signed a new partnership agreement with 26 state universities to create a national database of plants from across the archipelago that have therapeutic effects, writes Dessy Sagita for The Jakarta Globe.

“I’ve been for some time bothered with how others have been claiming [our traditional herbs], and how we still import 90% of raw materials for our medicines. It would be wonderful if we can benefit from our own resources,” Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said on the sidelines of the signing event in Jakarta.

The head of the ministry’s research and development agency, Trihono, said Rp48 billion (US$5 million) would be disbursed this year alone for the 26 universities to support related research projects, including those aimed at finding active ingredients in herbs traditionally believed to have therapeutic effects. He added that Indonesia had barely explored its “extraordinary” biodiversity.
Full report on The Jakarta Globe site